Avoiding The Carriage Before The Horse

Marketing your practice on search engines is attractive to a lot of coaches. The traffic can be used to grow your subscriber list, sell products and get more clients. It can be a great way to grow your practice.

But it can also be a big disappointing nightmare.

A lot of businesses have pumped a lot of time and money into search engine marketing efforts (SEO) only to find them useless.

One main cause of this is “putting the carriage before the horse.”In other words, you attempt to get high search engine rankings before you have a solid, sound web site.

What often happens?

Your web site can get rejected or even banned from search engines if it is created by a web designer who is not aware of search engine technicalities.
You can waste your money when you try to register with search engines.

Some charge a non-refundable fee for submitting your web site and it does NOT guarantee you will be included. If your site isn’t well done, you get rejected lose your money.

Your pages become invisible. If your site isn’t coded the right way, then a lot of your content won’t get into the search engine for people to find or they are listed on page 1,334,203 … which virtually no one will visit.

On a more content-based level, if your site is not interesting and valuable, others will be hesitant to link to it. Good links are vital to getting good rankings.

If your site isn’t effective at converting traffic, you won’t sell as many products or attract as many clients. You won’t get as many newsletter subscribers.

With all the information and hype out there it can be easy to get wrapped up in the dream of high traffic leading to tons of business. I’ve seen others make this mistake. I’ve blundered myself.

So, how do you saddle-up your horse and oil the buggy to get the most from your search engine marketing?

There is a lot of information on developing a good web site. Be sure to focus special attention on the “marketing”of a good web site. Here are some main points to guide you.

* Make sure your site works “without search engines.”That is, make sure the traffic you are sending to it now, such as people from networking, are doing what you want on your site.
* Make sure your site is “search engine friendly.”This means to make sure that the code was designed to enable search engines to access the information on your site. This means getting a technically savvy search engine expert on hand during the creation of your site.
* Make sure you have a target audience. This is a good idea in general for your business, but it’s also critical that it’s expressed on your web site. Make sure your site is appealing to that target audience.
* Make sure your site answers basic usability questions such as, “What is this site about?””Where do I begin?”and “Why should I be here and not somewhere else?”Answers to these questions will get your visitors moving through your web site.
* Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Sit down with at least one person who is in your target audience and watch them use your site. Seeing people do everything other than what you intended is often an eye-opening experience … even for the most advanced web designers.
* Make sure your site will capture your target audience in different “buy states.”Some visitors will be ready to buy into subscribing to your newsletter. Some will be ready to buy an ebook. Some will want to buy your one-on-one service.

Search engines are great. They can take your business to higher levels. But without solid horse and buggy combo, you may be in for a bumpy ride.

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